Apart from amazing Tourist places in Gujarat, Gujarat is also a heaven for birdwatchers, as it houses thousands of bird species. It is geographically situated between two traditional bird migration routes, one from Middle East and Europe to peninsular and another from the India Central and North Asia to East Africa. This makes Gujarat a perfect resting ground where birds of many feathers rest together. During the monsoon season, from July to September, the plentiful rains refill lakes and ponds and regenerate grasslands, creating a perfect habitat for visiting birds. It is believed that roughly 1.3 million migratory waterfowl visit Gujarat's 1,419 wetlands every year. The Rann of Kutch and the lakes around Jamnagar also serves breeding ground for pelicans, flamingoes and avocets during the monsoon season. The following section lists the various Bird Sanctuaries in Gujarat.
Bird Watching Tips
The best time to sight birds is at sunrise and sunset.
Wear clothes in earthy shades to mix with the surroundings.
Carry a useful guidebook on birds such as Salim Ali's The Book of Indian Birds and Richard Grimmett's Birds of India and Pakistan.
Carry a set of powerful binoculars and a camera with powerful zoom lenses and stand. Avoid flash photography.
Smoking and plastic are forbidden at all eco-tourism spots.
Keep as quiet as you can and avoid music and sound devices that may disturb the birds. Picking plants is forbidden in any area.
Do not try to go too close to the birds. No matter how lovely they look, they will attack if they feel threatened.
Carry your own food and water.
Please take care of the nature and do not leave any trace behind.
The Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is about 64 kilometers from Ahmedabad. The Nal Sarovar fills up during the rainy season and becomes saline during summer season. The Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat covers an area of about 120.82 square kilometers and houses a total of about 360 islands of different sizes. The rich and amazing biodiversity becomes shelter to more than 250,000 birds. The species found in Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary are flamingoes, Sarus crane, stork, Red-wattled lapwing, pelican, Fishing eagles, harriers, owls and hawks. The Kensville golf course located about 20 kilometers from Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary is a lovely property near the bird sanctuary. This Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat is the perfect place to sight various Birds of Gujarat.
The Thol Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is about 40 kilometers from Ahmedabad. The Thol Bird Sanctuary Gujarat covers an area of about 7 square kilometers. The Thol Lake has many artificial islands that attract about 75 species of birds which includes flamingoes, Great White pelicans, Common crane, Greylag goose, Glossy ibis, Black ibis, mallards, Sarus crane, fly catchers, Odd Spotted and Eurasian curlews. The Thol Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is the lovely site for birdwatchers. This Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat is list in one of the Best Gujarat Bird Sanctuary list.
The Kanewal Lake Gujarat is about 40 kilometers from Anand and somewhat 72 kilometers form Ahmedabad. The Kanewal Lake Gujarat covers an area of about 625 ha, the Kanewal reservoir is the largest reservoir in the district. The land around the Kanewal Lake Gujarat remains dry in the summer. During monsoon season, the whole area around the Kanewal Lake is flooded and the migratory waterfowl enjoy a temporary wetland, Sarus cranes, Dalmatian pelicans, Demoiselle cranes, Red-crested pochards and gulls are also attracted towards Kanewal Lake. More than 80 various species of birds, ranging around 20,000, are found near the Kanewal Lake.
The Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is located near Jamnagar and is a lovely eco-system with two fresh water lakes, mangroves, marshes and creeks of the Gulf of Kutch, salt pans in the neighbouring areas and a lovely marine sanctuary nearby. The Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Gujarat covers a total area of 6.05 square kilometer. Both the fresh water lakes of Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Gujarat have no interlink between them. Both the fresh water lakes of Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Gujarat vary in depth of water, water quality, salinity, vegetation and soil texture. The Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is a heaven for more than 300 species of birds. The well-known Indian ornithologist Dr Salim Ali visited the Khijadia Bird Sanctuary in 1984 and sighted about 104 species on same day. The Dalmatian pelican, Indian skimmer, Greater flamingo, Brown-headed gull, Grey francolin, Lesser flamingo, White stork, Great White pelican, wheatears, Darter, egrets, shrikes, herons, warblers, Purple swamphen, Black-tailed godwit, Brahminy kite, Comb duck, pochards, coots are just some of the birds species found in this Sanctuary. The Sanctuary houses Watchtowers, trails and paddleboats. You can also rent a Auto rickshaws and private cars to reach there. This Gujarat Bird Sanctuary is also one of the mesmerizing Bird Sanctuaries in Gujarat.
The Vadhvana wetlands Gujarat are about 10 kilometers from Dabhoi and 40 kilometers form Vadodara. The 10 kilometer Vadhvana reservoir serves resting ground for 150,000 migratory birds every winter. Somewhat 1,000 Greylag geese from Siberia and Central Europe, Bar-headed geese from Tibet, Brahmi duck, coot, Spot Billed duck, terns, wigeon, Mallard ducks, and sandpiper from Siberia, Ruddy shelduck, ibis and Black necked grebe spend their winter here. These birds usually make their nest in Hypomea weed, which is found in large amount in Vadhvana Wetlands Gujarat. The Vadhvana wetlands Gujarat is home to countless species of Birds of Gujarat and listed in best Bird Sanctuaries in Gujarat.
The Pariej Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is about 25 kilometers from Kheda and 60 kilometers from Ahmedabad. The Pariej Wetland houses about 60 species of birds ranging 20,000 to 40,000. The water storage reservoir in Pariej Wetland satisfies the drinking water requirement for 52 nearby villages. The marsh is surrounded with lotuses and weeds, perfect for local Sarus cranes, Indian Black ibises, little cormorants, Common moorhens, Great egrets, Pied kingfishers, Pond herons as well as the migratory birds such as Lesser flamingoes, Common redshanks, Ruddy shelducks, White storks and Eurasian spoonbills. The nearest railway station from Pariej Bird Sanctuary Gujarat and wetlands is Nadiad and the nearest bus stop is in Matar. This Bird Sanctuary in Gujarat is among the amazing Gujarat Bird Sanctuary.
The Porbandar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat covers an area of 1 square kilometer. The Porbandar Bird Sanctuary Gujarat is home to countless local as well as migratory birds such as Whistling teals, flamingoes, avocets, spoonbills, jacanas, pelicans, pintails, Little grebes, coots and cormorants. The smelly Chhaya creek in the city becomes a nice feeding ground for Northern shovellers, Lesser flamingoes and Black-winged stills. The Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is only 5 kilometers from Porbandar station where you can catch taxis, buses and rickshaws to get there. This Gujarat Bird Sanctuary is an amazing place for bird watchers.
The Mahi River Estuary Gujarat is located at a distance of 55 kilometers from Anand and 75 kilometers form Vadodara. The huge and intricate ravines of the Mahi River make the place more suitable for the terrestrial birds in the surrounding of the river channel. The salinity flow provides a freshwater habitat upstream while the estuarine mouth downstream is a marine-influenced zone. More than 118 bird species can be seen including sandpipers, Lesser flamingoes, waders, Greater flamingoes, shorerbirds, herons and ducks.
The Bhaskarpara wetlands Gujarat are about 20 kilometers from Viramgam. The Bhashkarpara wetlands Gujarat and fisheries is the perfect place to witness more than 20,000 waterfowl every winter. The Bhaskarpara wetlands Gujarat houses various bird species like Bar-headed goose, Open-billed stork, Black-tailed godwit, Common teal, Black ibis, Common pochard, Common coot, Demoiselle crane, Greater flamingo, Great White pelican, Northern pintail and Northern shoveller. The nearest bus station from Bhaskarpara wetlands is Viramgam, where you can also visit the Munsar Talav. The Bhaskarpara wetlands are also one of the amazing bird sanctuaries in Gujarat.
The Chhari Dhandh Gujarat is located in Banni Region which is about 80 kilometers from Bhuj. The Chhari Dhandh Gujarat covers an area of 80 square kilometers. This salt-affected shallow wetland of Chhari Dhandh Wetland Conservation Reserve which is located near Fulay village in Banni is a seasonal desert wetland and gets marshy during a good monsoon. More than 74 different bird species are found in the region which includes Common coot, Glossy ibis, Common crane, Northern shoveller, Black-tailed godwit and Steppe eagle. The closest airport and railway station are in Bhuj and the closest bus stop is Nakhatrana.
While wetland birds attract countless tourists, Gujarat has very rich diversity in terrestrial inhabitant birds as well. The Velavadar National Park in Bhavnagar turns out a breeding ground for one of the Birds of Gujarat, the highly endangered Lesser florican during the monsoon months. The Girnar Hills in Junagadh houses the endangered Long-billed vultures. Naliya in Kutch houses the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. The rare crested hawk eagle and spotted eagle can be spotted in the Barda Hills of Porbandar. The sanctuaries of Shoolpaneshwar in Narmada, Jambughoda in Panchmahal, Ratanmahal in Dahod and Vansda National Park in the Dangs are also best places for bird watching excursions.